7 votes

It’s Time for Black Athletes to Leave White Colleges

10 comments

  1. [7]
    45930
    Link
    This article cites an above-average rate of doctorship and lawyership for alumni of HBCUs but does so a little shadily. They are 3% of 4-year universities, but 50% of black lawyers graduated from...

    This article cites an above-average rate of doctorship and lawyership for alumni of HBCUs but does so a little shadily.

    They are 3% of 4-year universities, but 50% of black lawyers graduated from one. The question is how many black students go to which colleges though.

    For example, howard is 90% black, and has 10k undergrads, so thats 9k black students. Duke has 7k undergrads and is 10% black so they have 700 black students. If you have 32 Dukes and 1 Howard, it would be 9k black students from HBCUs and 15k from other schools. So thats more like 40% of black students getting 50% of the black lawyerships - pretty reasonable. Im doing my own bad stats here by just extrapolating Duke, but thats the way that statistic should be portrayed.

    Anyways my main problem with this article is that kids that have a shot at going pro, probably aren’t trying to be lawyers or doctors. They are trying to be pro athletes. Why wouldn’t they go to schools that give them the best opportunity to do so. I would go out on a limb and guess that 90% of black pro athletes or more came out of a d1 sports school.

    Im down to fuck the NCAA, but I don’t see what it has to do with race. If all if the black football players self-selected out of the best football programs, you would just see a trend towards more white pros.

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      Ellimist
      Link Parent
      I would disagree with this. Recruitment for the professional levels of any sport boils down to finding the best talent no matter what school it goes to. It's why MLB has such a strong presence in...

      If all if the black football players self-selected out of the best football programs, you would just see a trend towards more white pros

      I would disagree with this. Recruitment for the professional levels of any sport boils down to finding the best talent no matter what school it goes to. It's why MLB has such a strong presence in the international markets like Latin America and Asia. Why the NFL has continually tried to build it's brand in Europe. Why the NHL is made up of players of dozens of nationalities. The professional sports leagues have a product to sell and the best way to sell that product is to put the best product on the field, regardless of where it comes from.

      The only reason the big D1 schools have all the talent is because that's where the talent goes. NFL teams don't scout every Alabama game because it's Alabama. They scout it because that's where the best players are.

      If all the best talent, in this case, all the black athletes with the talent to go pro, start going to HBCUs, that's where the NFL will go to find their next generation of players.

      It really does have everything to do with race. Nearly 70% of the NFL is black. 80% of the NBA is black. Those two sports are, by far, the biggest money makers for the NCAA. If those players left schools like Alabama, Clemson, Florida for Grambling, Howard, etc, it would absolutely change the landscape of collegiate sports and, by extension, the professional levels. You'd see tons more money flow into the HBCU's. More advertising money, more TV money. You'd see better coaches go to those schools, better facilities built. More jobs for the local populations. In theory, anyway, you'd see those HBCU's and their communities benefit the way Tuscaloosa, Austin, South Bend and all the cities that have those big D1 schools do.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        DMonitor
        Link Parent
        Football is a bit different from other sports in regards to talent, though. It's a very strategic sport, so quality coaching and learning a certain play style is incredibly important to pro teams....

        Football is a bit different from other sports in regards to talent, though. It's a very strategic sport, so quality coaching and learning a certain play style is incredibly important to pro teams. Big schools like Alabama pay big money for the best coaches and trainers. So recruits go there to be surrounded by talent, which also makes them a more valuable player for NFL scouts.

        The schools are able to spend that much money also because of private donations from boosters. Alumn from the school send insane amounts of money just to see the football team do well.

        https://www.ncaa.org/enforcement/role-boosters

        Not to mention the school's brand having value. If you've ever been to the state of Alabama, you would realize that Auburn and Alabama are basically treated like pro teams by the people who live in the state who haven't even seen the campuses. So there's going to be tons of money going into the football programs, regardless of whether or not they have the best players.

        3 votes
        1. Ellimist
          Link Parent
          I live in Texas so I'm fully aware of the power of football. Played it in high school(5A, which was the highest classification at the time) and college for a D2 school. We've got stadiums that...

          I live in Texas so I'm fully aware of the power of football. Played it in high school(5A, which was the highest classification at the time) and college for a D2 school. We've got stadiums that cost more to build than a lotta college stadiums. Small towns really do shut down for the Friday night high school games. Texas-OU games draw out everyones burnt orange and maroon shirts and going to the State Fair is always best when the Cotton Bowl is being played because the crowds disperse to watch the game.

          It's really a chicken and egg scenario. Alabama only has that money to pay for someone like Nick Saban because they have a strong foundation and tradition of football excellence(Bear Bryant) but ultimately, to quote a favorite NFL writer, it's "players, not plays". It's the players who built that foundation. It doesn't matter how good the coach is if the players aren't good enough to execute the game plan. See how well Nick Saban did in the NFL. He took over a bad Dolphins team, didn't have the personnel for it, made a grown man cry, and went back to the college ranks because the team didn't perform.

          While I don't disagree with your premise that big schools pay big money, they're only able to do that because of the alumni you mentioned but mostly because the schools have demonstrated football excellence(over decades) which requires the top players.

          As of 2018, these are the top 10 schools for producing NFL talent. They're also perennially top ranked schools

          1. Notre Dame – 495
          2. USC – 479
          3. Ohio State – 426
          4. Penn State – 359
          5. Nebraska – 346
          6. Michigan – 346
          7. Miami – 341
          8. Oklahoma – 328
          9. LSU – 325
          10. Alabama – 319

          Did these schools make the players? Or did the players make the schools? It's a little of both, to be sure. But ultimately, the schools successes, just like the pro teams, rest more on the players. All these schools have top tier training staffs, top tier coaching staffs, top tier NFL pedigrees. They live and die with their recruiting classes. The better players they're able to recruit, the better the program will be. The better the program, the more money they get from bowl games, tv and ad money etc.

          3 votes
      2. 45930
        Link Parent
        Similar to what DMonitor is saying below, students spend 4 years in school developing for pro - in any sport. They don't sit on their asses for 4 years as a formality and then get drafted. Having...

        Similar to what DMonitor is saying below, students spend 4 years in school developing for pro - in any sport. They don't sit on their asses for 4 years as a formality and then get drafted.

        Having good teammates is also a huge factor, especially in football. I'm not talking in absolutes. Of course a top 10 player will be recognized basically anywhere. And the difference between the best football coach and a top 50 football coach might not completely disqualify a player from ever going pro.

        But these kids want to give themselves the best possible chance. That means optimizing for every marginal gain. There's potentially a place at HBCUs for students who excel in sports and also feel strongly connected to their heritage, or also excel in academics and are considering a different profession. But for elite athletes, the latter is rare, and I can't speak to the former, other than all these players seem to not care, as evidenced by them choosing to go somewhere else.

        I feel like you're sort of putting the cart before the horse with your main point of the money following the players. The current system is relatively predatory, we all know that. But existing D1 programs provide value to players, no doubt. They have years of investment in facilities, coaching strategy, they probably offer illegal kickbacks. There is undeniable institutional sports knowledge built into these programs. It seems like people feel very comfortable essentially shaming black athletes for not choosing an inferior option and I just don't get it. It seems comparable to me to saying to an elite academic that gets into Harvard and Howard and chooses Harvard that they're some kind of race traitor, and if all the smart blacks faded Harvard in favor of HBCUs, then recruiters would show more interest in those schools. I don't think you're wrong, but I'm wondering why anyone would think it's the responsibility of any individual to sacrifice their own career in order to raise up the careers of future members of their ethnic group. Respectable choice? Sure. Something I could understand? Sure. But do I think that I or any other person, black or otherwise can actually tell elite black students which path they should choose? No I don't.

        3 votes
    2. [2]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      The paragraph immediately after the one with the doctor/lawyer stats speaks to your main question:

      The paragraph immediately after the one with the doctor/lawyer stats speaks to your main question:

      In a country where the racial wealth gap remains enormous—the median white household has nearly 10 times the wealth of the median black household, and the rate of white homeownership is about 70 percent higher than that of black homeownership—institutions that nurture a black middle class are crucial. And when these institutions are healthy, they bring economic development to the black neighborhoods that surround them.

      1 vote
      1. 45930
        Link Parent
        It doesn't answer why it's these students' responsibility to prop up the institutions. If HBCUs cannot attract black excellence at their desired rate, then let's examine that. If money is the...

        It doesn't answer why it's these students' responsibility to prop up the institutions. If HBCUs cannot attract black excellence at their desired rate, then let's examine that. If money is the issue, then we can try to come up with a way to raise more money. If name recognition is the issue, we can try to address that.

        What is stopping black colleges from building a desirable football program organically? The same bad argument can be applied to baseball. As mentioned earlier, baseball scouts pull a lot from Central America. Why don't those players choose to play pro ball in their own countries to drum up tourism? Because they can make some fucking money in the US! A guy like David Ortiz has done more for the DR by getting rich in USA than he would have if he stayed there and was the the king of nothing. The difference might not be so dramatic in this case, but it's the same concept. Look at Colin Kaepernick. Getting black men into the pros, into the spotlight, and into wealth is being done today. If those black men want to use their position to contribute to black society as a whole, then they should. But young students shouldn't be compelled to risk their own success to prop up black institutions. Black institutions should be compelled to support students.

        7 votes
  2. RapidEyeMovement
    (edited )
    Link
    Interesting article but I think it is horrible to pressure teenagers to take such large risk and sacrifices when they are beginning their careers. Why Should a NFL/NBA bound athlete, be...

    Interesting article but I think it is horrible to pressure teenagers to take such large risk and sacrifices when they are beginning their careers. Why Should a NFL/NBA bound athlete, be shamed/pressured into going to a HBCU when their isn't the Coaching Staff, training staff, infrastructure, national stage (ie TV audience) and Top Tier opponents to play against . All of these are required to help improve their game and to get the best seat in the draft they can get.

    Today, most blue-chip recruits in football or basketball don’t even consider attending black colleges.

    Yes because to do otherwise puts the student athlete at a disadvantage nationally because they do not have access to top tier coaching staff and supporting staff. Or lets look at an 'on the cusp' athlete, who is fighting every day to get better so they can maybe make it in the NFL/NBA. The only one really befitting from these two type of athlete going to an HBCU is the institution themselves. Not any of the the athlete described above.
    Note: It does benefit those athletes that wouldn't make it in the Pros but are getting a free education out of the deal. (On a side note players are advertising billboards/assets for all Universities and should be paid their market weight)

    There’s a model for how young black athletes could leverage their talent and financial power. In the early 1990s, five high-school basketball players—two each from Texas and Detroit, and one from Chicago—got to know one another playing in all-star games and basketball camps. They enrolled together at the University of Michigan, and partway through their first season they were all starting for the team. Becoming famous as the Fab Five, they reached the championship game of the March Madness tournament in 1992 and 1993, and four of them went on to play in the NBA. What if instead of enrolling at Michigan they’d gone to Howard, taking the Bison, rather than the Wolverines, to the Final Four?

    WOAH WOAH now, the Fab Five and the resulting scandal that was uncovered is a bad model to invoke, unless you want to talk about paying players which I am all for, but don't believe that HBCU would benefit from this model. To beat home a point, I don't think young kids should be leading this charge for an public/private institution.

    A single high-profile recruit enrolling at an HBCU would get people’s attention. (Thibodeaux got people’s attention just by considering enrolling.) Three or four of them could spark a national conversation—and, in basketball, could generate a championship run that attracted fans and money. Now imagine five or 10 or 20—or a few dozen. That could quickly propel a few black schools into the athletic empyrean, and change the place of HBCUs in American culture.

    Now I am not going to play dumb and not take on what the author is getting at, which is HBCU can and should be competitive. But shaming teenage athletes to take up the charge it because of the historical significant of HBCU to the larger black community is disingenuous and reckless. If you want to shame anyone, shame the top tier coaches and assistant coaches, because at least they are in a place financially and career wise to actually take on the problem, not highschool juniors and seniors

    It is a little weird making this argument as a white guy but I think it should be made nonetheless

    2 votes
  3. [2]
    semideclared
    Link
    Through 1980, enrollment grew at HBCUs, but that has changed as more black students look to “traditional or mainstream” universities. The false perception is that the mainstream schools provide...

    Through 1980, enrollment grew at HBCUs, but that has changed as more black students look to “traditional or mainstream” universities. The false perception is that the mainstream schools provide better programs or more opportunities upon graduation, which implies HBCUs are medium-to-low quality institutions.

    “HBCUs are particularly difficult because middle class blacks who would have considered HBCUs no longer think they’re good enough, and they’re getting wooed by more wealthy, mainline and traditional schools, and in some cases, elite schools, they’re obviously going to survive, and will have to consider changing their model.”

    Between 2010 and 2016, Elizabeth City State University, an HBCU in North Carolina, lost more than half of its students, which led the state to spring into action by offering reduced tuition across the board for all students.

    HBCU LeMoyne-Owen College has collected about $4 million in pledges in recent months, allowing classes to begin as planned on Aug. 20.

    The school needed up to $4 million by the end of June to pay debts and avoid losing its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Interim president Johnnie Watson said the city of Memphis pledged $3 million over three years.